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Man out of jail for just 45 minutes attacks 91-year-old woman at home, Arizona cops say

A man accused of trying to rob a 91-year-old Arizona woman last week had been released from a Scottsdale jail just 45 minutes earlier, KNXV reported.

Police re-arrested Danny Nicholas, 35, on May 20 after a neighbor chased him away as he tried to steal a wedding ring from the woman in her home, The Arizona Republic reported.

Catherine Mason says her sister and daughter spotted Nicholas as he shoved the 91-year-old into her home, KSAZ reported. Her sister called 911 while Mason dashed across the street to help.

“I kind of pulled him and started yelling, and the door was right there, so I kind of pushed him a little bit, and he just kind of ran, so we were lucky,” Mason said, according to the station.

Scottsdale police say NIcholas had been released from jail at 11:30 a.m. and the attack on the 91-year-old took place at 12:15 p.m., AZ Family reported.

Nicholas had knocked on the woman’s door to ask for a ride home, but she told him her vehicle had broken down, The Arizona Republic reported. He then demanded her keys and pushed her to the floor as he tried to yank off her wedding ring, police say.

“It was total luck that we saw what happened,” Mason said, KNXV reported. After she pushed Nicholas out of her neighbor’s house, police say he asked for water at a nearby convenience store and told the clerk he’d just been released from jail.

Police arrested Nicholas later that afternoon after people called 911 to report someone asking other people for rides, KSAZ reported. He faces charges of robbery, burglary and kidnapping.

The 91-year-old woman, who hit her head on a tile floor when Nicholas knocked her down, was hospitalized as a precaution but is recovering, AZ Family reported.

It’s not clear what landed Nicholas in jail earlier, but he has previous arrests on suspicion of drug possession, forgery, trafficking stolen goods and other charges, according to the station..

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Don Sweeney has been a newspaper reporter and editor in California for more than 25 years. He has been a real-time reporter based at The Sacramento Bee since 2016.
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